1915-2015
100th Anniversary of Peter Jensen’s Invention of the Loudspeaker

Peter Laurits Jensen dedicated his life to innovation and today's Jensen® musical instrument speakers continue the essence of that innovation.

Peter L. Jensen was born in 1886 in Falster, Denmark. At the 1900 Paris Exhibition he made a public demonstration of the telegraphone. He moved to the United States in 1909 and worked in the laboratory of radio pioneer Valdemar Poulsen. Two years later, in a small laboratory in Napa, California, with Mr. Edwin Pridham, he experimented with Poulsen's arc radio transmitter, adding thicker wires connected to a diaphragm, and putting a coil of copper wire between magnets, thus making a working model of what they called the "electro-dynamic principle" for voice reproduction.

Jensen applied this principle at a Christmas celebration, surprising townspeople who heard the spoken voice amplified throughout their township. In 1915, working alongside Edwin Pridham, Peter Jensen developed the "Magnavox", the first loudspeaker. In December 1915 he made the first public demonstrations, one on the 10th in Golden Gate Park and another one on the 25th playing music in front of San Francisco City Hall. Magnavox speakers were predominantly used for public address systems, famously used in 1919 to amplify President Woodrow Wilson's speech in San Diego.

In 1927 Peter Jensen began producing speakers for both military use and radios, founding the Jensen Radio Manufacturing Company in Chicago. The company later began to produce commercial loudspeakers for public use.

In 1929 the Jensen Company manufactured 60% of all speakers being made for independent radio producers.

In the 1930’s and 40’s, Jensen pioneered high fidelity by developing and producing the first multiple speaker system.

In 1930 Jensen introduced the first permanent magnet, dynamic loudspeaker and the first commercial compression-driven horn tweeter.

In 1936 Jensen introduced the bass reflex enclosed speaker.

In 1942 Jensen presented the first commercial coaxial two-way loudspeaker.

In the mid-1940s Leo Fender developed one of first guitar amplifier and chose Jensen speakers for their excellent tone.

Throughout the 1940s, 1950s and most of the 1960s, Fender®, Ampeg®, Gibson® and all the other major amplifier companies used Jensen® musical instrument speakers, until Jensen® ceased production of their loudspeakers, in the late 1960s.

On October 25th, 1961 Peter Laurits Jensen died of lung cancer at his home in Western Springs, Illinois at age of 75.

In 1996 SICA accepted the challenge to reproduce the legendary Jensen loudspeakers for the market.

It began with meticulous research of the original models, analysis of their characteristics and tracing the original component suppliers to find the equipment used to produce the seamed and felted cones. After three years of persistent hard work, SICA presented to the market an ideal reproduction, both in sound and in appearance, of the P10R, the most famous Jensen guitar loudspeaker with an AlNiCo magnet.

The success obtained at the 1999 NAMM spurred the engineers and musicians involved in the project to continue with unaltered passion. That same year the other models with AlNiCo magnets came out, including the P12N, known as the Blue Bell, which continues to stand out for its amazing sound qualities.

In 2000 the Vintage Ceramic series was presented and it is also reproduced in line with the original loudspeakers of the Sixties. The Jensen® "reissues", after intensive research and analysis, are made to the same specifications as the original Jensen® speakers used by Leo Fender and others.

Following the success of these reissues, Jensen® released new speakers utilizing the same quality design as the original Jensen® speakers, but dedicated to modern music, including speakers in the Jensen® Jet series. From 2000 to 2007 the Jensen speaker designers dedicated their attention to understanding how the guitar market had evolved over the years and what technical characteristics and tone players desired.

In 2008 the Jet series was introduced, a series dedicated to modern music. The Jet series includes loudspeakers with magnets in AlNiCo, ceramic and neodymium. The neodymium model is assembled with an “inside voice coil” configuration, just like the AlNiCo loudspeakers. All the models share the characteristics of extreme flexibility of use and excellent definition of sound. These loudspeakers mark Jensen’s new approach to the reproduction of guitar sound.

The Jensen Jet series Falcon, Nighthawk, Electric Lightning, Tornado and Blackbird speakers, already famous amongst the most meticulous musicians, have set the stage for the celebration of Jensen speaker’s 100th anniversary in 2015.

The Jensen® name, while synonimous with classic vintage tone, is the pioneer in modern state-of-the-art speakers today.




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